MINELRES: International Conference "Demos or Ethnos? Multi-Ethnic Societies as Challenges to Liberal Democracy", Hamburg, 20.11.2009

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Nov 6 18:05:21 2009


Original sender: William McKinney <mckinney@ecmi.de>


Demos or Ethnos? Multi-Ethnic Societies as Challenges to Liberal
Democracy

International Conference
Friday, 20 November 2009
Hamburg

Dear Colleagues, we kindly invite you to attend the following
conference. Further details can be found here:
http://www.ecmi.de/37/2009/10/27/International-
ConferenceInternationaleKonferenz.php

Demos or Ethnos? Multiethnic Societies as  Challenges to Liberal
Democracy

This conference is sponsored by the Naumann Stiftung and the European
Centre for Minority Issues. 

Since the end of the 1980s, traditional democracies based on the
nation-state have been under siege, confronted by the model of
"multicultural democracy." However, this supposedly up-to-date
construction of "liberal democracy" does not sufficiently take into
account opposing tendencies such as the strengthening of ethnic elements
in different regions of the world. More than ten years ago, the Israeli
sociologist Sammy Smooha developed the concept of "ethnic democracy",
based on an analysis of the inner structure of democracy in his
homeland. This model of democracy combines the principle of equality of
all citizens with the recognition of special privileges for one ethnic
group. Since this concept has been developed, its application to the
political system of Israel and other countries with multiethnic
societies has been the subject of intense and controversial academic
discussion. Such concepts and reflections constitute undoubtedly a
challenge for theories of liberal democracy which postulate that it is
not permissible to treat citizens differently on account of their
religion, ethnicity, or further characteristics. It is however also a
fact that in many (new) democracies such as those in Southeast Europe,
ethnic principles play an important role in the structure of the state
as well as in political representation. Potentials for peaceful
development or conflict in multiethnic societies from the standpoints of
democratic theory as well as political practice will be presented and
discussed at this conference. Should so-called "ethnic democracies"
preferably be regarded as stable societies or rather as potential
sources of new, intensified conflicts? How should rights of
representation and political participation of various population groups
be regulated? Which current political provisions in multiethnic
societies have been tested and proven to be especially stable and
promoters of peace? And what contributions are provided in this context
by supranational organizations such as the European
Union?

---------------------------------------------
This message was sent using Endymion MailMan.
http://www.endymion.com/products/mailman/ http://www.microlink.com/